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TheStreet Open House

Steelworkers' Strength At Bankrupt Pinnacle Airlines In Numbers

USW Continues Fighting for Flight Attendants, Ground Crews

PITTSBURGH, April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union is reviewing the National Mediation Board's decision that Pinnacle Airlines, Colgan Air and now-defunct Mesaba Aviation are a single carrier and remains focused on protecting the interests of all 2,600 Steelworkers at the bankrupt regional airlines.


The USW has long represented flight attendants at Pinnacle and Colgan and today represents nearly 1,800 flight attendants at those two airlines. The USW also represents 878 ground operations employees of Pinnacle. Mesaba Aviation ceased operations in January 2012. Pinnacle Airlines Corporation and its affiliates filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions on April 1, 2012 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

"Whether at the  bargaining table, in federal bankruptcy court as a voice for workers or in a representation election with another union, the USW will continue to provide leadership, stability, credibility and expertise," said USW International Vice President Carol Landry, who heads the union's airline division. "The diversity of our membership and our ability to mobilize on multiple fronts at the same time sets us apart and makes the USW stronger."

Landry pointed out that the USW has been engaged in talks with Pinnacle and Colgan management since late last year when the companies first announced their financial troubles.

"Throughout our dealings with Pinnacle and Colgan, the USW has had to push back against the airlines' overreaching attempts to restructure the businesses on the backs of workers alone," Landry said.

"With thousands of jobs and the future of the company on the line, we will not be divided or distracted from our members' needs," Landry said. "Our members deserve a fair contract that recognizes the value they bring to the company every day."

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